I received Jesus
as my personal Lord and Savior
when I was 19 years old. I totally accepted the payment He made for my sins, but
I neglected to make Him the Lord of my life. As time went on I began to fall away
from Him as the world continued to pull me. I lived in the world, as the world did
for several years. This was living upside down.
I got married
, had children and was happily pursuing the "American
Dream". To fulfill the desires of "my" heart and the American Dream I began to worship
money and the things it could buy. I worked at the Post Office, got off early enough
to restore old cars, and make enough money to buy more jet skis, more boats and
every spare dollar and minute I had I spent at the Colorado River.
I got into a lot of debt and learned how to juggle bills quite
well. I became a master at living way beyond my income, the thought of a budget,
tithing, or following the Bible for how to spend my money had never occurred to
Then one day the Lord began to tug at my heart
. He began to show
me that my house, boat and other toys (my kingdom that I had created) were my idols
and He was no longer a part of my life. He showed me that I was living totally upside
down. He showed me that I was not suppose to "store up treasures on earth where
moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal" Matthew 6:19. But this
was exactly what I was doing. I was solely working for my stuff and myself, I was
totally dependent on myself, and not at all dependent on God.
Kathy and I began to understand
that what we were
doing was just chasing after the wind, working more, to buy more, to spend more.
Ecclesiastes 6:7-9 explains what we were doing so well; "All the labor of man is
for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied. For what more has the wise man
than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living?
Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity
and grasping for the wind." We were happy, buy yet we knew something was missing,
our souls were not satisfied.
We finally began to talk to each
other about how we felt and how
we felt about our religiousiocity ie. doing the "church thing". We did attend regularly
and were involved in both the worship team and the Sunday school, but we really
were just going through the motions and had no real relationship with our Savior.
We both decided to start searching for a different church to attend. We came to
Calvary Baptist Church and it was then that we rededicated our lives to the Lord.
We felt this is right where we needed to be and we began to feel the Spirit working
in our lives. This was a slow and sometimes painful process. We were lonely and
felt empty inside, and knew that this life of pride and self indulgence was sinful
so we were willing to allow the Lord to change us.
At first I was afraid to put Christ on the throne
in my life. As I shared with our Bible study class once, I thought the Lord might
want me to sell my house, my boat or send me to some third world country against
my will. So I was walking with one foot in and one foot out. God had to literally
drag me into obedience to Him.
As I began to change
the outer things in my life (my friends, drinking,
swearing etc.), God was changing me inside. Little did I know it, but He was bringing
my upside down world right side up. He began to change my priorities. Money, and
the things it could buy, how I looked etc. were no longer as important to me. He
showed me that "the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are
not seen are eternal" 2 Corinthians 4:18.
God also began to change my desires
, I enjoy Bible
study and prayer time and Sunday church have become some of the most important things
in my life. Then He changed my willingness. I am more willing now to follow His
will no matter what He wants me to do. I am willing to allow Him to take total control
of my life. And I am also willing to do whatever He says. As a result of this Kathy
and I have been able to completely surrender our lives to the Lord, what seemed
important back then is now meaningless to us, and we truly feel the call to serve
Him in any way He asks us.
Don't get me wrong
, I know that we have made and will still make
many mistakes. We aren't "there" yet, but we realize that life is a journey and
we are discovering that the journey itself is far more important than the destination.
God knows what our destination is, what is more important to Him is how we get there
and how many people we bring along with us on our journey. Our desire is that by
our lifestyle and example, others will be challenged to a deeper commitment with
their personal Lord and Savior, keep eternity in mind whenever meeting with people,
and see the need for the deaf to "hear" the good news of Jesus Christ.